Switzerland says yes to discrimination protections for LGBTIQ+ people

LGBTIQ+ communities in Switzerland are celebrating the success of a referendum to update anti-discrimination laws to cover discrimination on the basis of sexuality.

In a public vote over the weekend, over 63% of voters marked their ballots in favour of the amendment to current laws, which previously protected citizens from discrimination on the basic of race, ethnicity and faith.

Referendums are far more common in the Swiss Confederation when compared to other democratic nations, with direct democracy entrenched as a cornerstone of the Swiss political system.

“This result sends a strong sign of acceptance for lesbians, gays and bisexuals,” Roman Heggli of Swiss LGBTIQ+ advocacy organisation Pink Cross said in a statement.

“The LGBTI community will use this momentum to achieve the consistent implementation of the penal code and to enforce marriage equality.”

While Switzerland has recognised same-sex relationships through registered partnerships since 2007, marriage equality is yet to be achieved in the European nation. Swiss laws also prevent same-sex couples from adoption children, or accessing IVF.

Heggli says this ‘yes’ result shows that the Swiss people are ready for marriage equality.

“Parliament now needs to take a step forward.”

Swiss People’s Party MP and Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter said the vote sends a message that discrimination is not tolerated in Switzerland.

In a survey commissioned by Pink Cross, 63% of respondents said they supported equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, with 18% mostly in favour, and 10% saying no.

OIP Staff

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